During the Holly Springs City Council meeting Monday night, Mayor Tim Downing announced the council will vote in August on a resolution to “recognize the importance of the Second Amendment” and show the city’s support for residents who wish to own guns.
But unlike Kennesaw and Nelson, Downing said Holly Springs is not considering putting a law on the books requiring gun ownership.
“(The purpose is) just to affirm the City Council’s support of the individual right to bear arms,” Downing said after the meeting.
Should the resolution pass, Downing said it also will “encourage” residents of Holly Springs to own a gun, given that they have the proper training and knowledge to do so safely.
“The private ownership and concealed carry of firearms is a criminal deterrent,” said Downing, who also is a Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputy.
Councilman Jeremy Smith also voiced his support of the idea to encourage residents’ rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Another council member said it’s an easy call.
“I carry,” said Councilwoman Karen Barnett, who stated she had a concealed carry permit. “I think everybody that wants to ought to.”
The first talk of Holly Springs showing its support of the Second Amendment came in May when resident Dave Konwick approached the City Council asking it to adopt the Family Protection Ordinance, a law passed by the city of Kennesaw in 1982 and by the city of Nelson in April. The ordinance requires all heads of household within the city limits to own a firearm for protection, unless they fall under a sweeping set of exemptions which includes those who simply don’t believe in owning a gun.
But Downing said the City Council wasn’t interested in adopting the ordinance and instead favored making a more subtle statement.
“We’ve done some talking and decided there might be a better way to handle this,” Downing said.
Konwick attended the meeting Monday night and said he would be satisfied with the city only making a statement in support of gun ownership and not mandating residents to own firearms, even if the mandate were like that of Kennesaw and Nelson and was never enforced.
“This just gets the mandate out of it,” Konwick said. “People are fed up with the mandates right now. It’s not a law. It’s supporting the Second Amendment, the mainframe of the Constitution, the mainframe of our laws.”
Police Chief Ken Ball said Tuesday that he is on board with the measure.
“I support the Second Amendment, and this resolution is the city’s support of the Second Amendment,” he said.
During the City Council’s meeting Monday night, which lasted five minutes, the council also:
• Unanimously approved purchasing a Harley Davidson motorcycle for use as a patrol vehicle for the Holly Springs Police Department. The price of the bike comes in at $19,259 after upgrades;
• Voted unanimously to table renewing its fire and emergency services agreement with Cherokee County until its August meeting, due to changes to the contract; and
• Unanimously approved changing a part-time police officer position to full time. Downing said after the meeting that the position was recently vacated by the officer who held it.